Know Your Mom and Pop: Holly Hearts Dogs


Owning a pet is a huge responsibility. Pet owners take on the care and well being of another creature, which is never an easy task. It is a constant commitment to ensure that the creature eats, uses the bathroom, gets exercise of some sort, is clean and is loved (among many other things). Pets are not able to fend for themselves, making it up to the owner to ensure that all of their needs are met. This can be daunting and overwhelming at times. Holly DeMelo knows and understands this, and decided to start her own business that focuses on pet care services.

Holly Hearts Dogs, LLC started providing pet services in July of 2018, soon after DeMelo moved back to Rhode Island after living in Florida for eight years. DeMelo had been fantasizing about starting her own business for years, wanting to see what it would be like working for herself.

“Honestly, I don’t like the way a lot of businesses operate,” DeMelo says. “I wanted to see what it would be like to work for myself. Animals make me super happy, so I figured if I could make a living and be with them, then I’d be living the dream.”

DogShe did her due diligence with research, by emailing business owners, listening to podcasts and watching videos on YouTube. While still in Orlando, she went out for coffee with the owner of a successful pet services business to pick her brain. This conversation gave DeMelo the confidence to just go for it and start Holly Hearts Dogs, LLC once she moved. She created a to do list and started from there.

Holly Hearts Dogs, LLC offers potty breaks, dog walking, pet sitting (in the client’s home), pet taxi and overnight services. While her focus is on dogs, she also provides visits for cats and other small critters, which include refreshing food and water, cleaning the litter box (or cage), administering medications and providing attention. Her service area mainly covers East Providence, Providence (mostly the East Side) and Barrington, but she is always willing to help out pet owners in other locations if she can or refer them to other owners in the industry.

DeMelo works hard to build rapport with both the pets and their owners. She is transparent and honest with pet owners, which quickly builds trust. She also requires a complimentary meet and greet before any service can be booked. This gives everyone time to get to know each other to determine if it is a good match.

“I’m always packing treats,” DeMelo says when describing how she builds her relationship with the pets. “I try to give them my undivided attention, communicate clearly, play with them and give them lots of love. Generally speaking, most of the animals I encounter feel comfortable with me.”

DeMelo prides herself on being compassionate, reliable and professional. Every service includes a photo at check-in, walking map and a report card. She is insured and certified in Dog and Cat First Aid from the American Red Cross. She is also a Pet Sitters Associates Member.

DeMelo relies on word of mouth for advertising, but it often comes from her own mouth. She makes it a point to talk to people, letting them know all about Holly Hearts Dogs, LLC. She networks with peers in the industry and puts up flyers in coffee shops and any store that provides a service to an animal. She always has treat bags with her business cards in them to hand out. She has a website and keeps her Facebook and Instagram pages updated with great pictures of the animals she is caring for.

“I truly love animals,” DeMelo exclaims. “I’m honest, reliable and a hard worker. I’m hoping that my work will speak for itself and the word will spread.”

You can contact Holly Hearts Dogs, LLC by calling 401-338-2529 or emailing You can check out the Facebook and Instagram page, as well as